Resources

Since January of 2003, representatives from every sector of the beef industry have worked together on unified best practice documents to serve as blueprints for making beef an even safer product. All sectors bring together their best resources and create shared documents to function as guidance for food safety practices and procedures.

These best practice documents are written and approved by people who use these practices every day in their sectors of the beef industry.  As fluid documents, they are updated as needed to incorporate the most current science and technology. At the end of each document is a list of technical experts who are available to answer specific questions about each set of best practices.

In this section you’ll find the BIFSCo-produced best practice documents as well as other technical resources categorized by sector.

Pre-HarvestHarvestFurther ProcessingGround BeefRetailFoodserviceTestingLinks

Pre-Harvest

Pre-Harvest Best Practices Criteria

Production Best Practices
This document serves as a guide and information resource for cattle producers to help them keep abreast of and implement production best practices (PBP) that aid in the control of foodborne pathogens within groups of cattle. The document focuses on control of pathogenic Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) and Salmonella in groups of cattle.

Callaway et al. 2013. Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC) ecology in cattle and management based options for reducing fecal shedding. Agric. Food Anal. Bacteriol. 3:39-69
This peer-reviewed article addresses the ecology of STEC in cattle and the potential controls and interventions proposed or implemented to reduce STEC in cattle. The primary focus is on the use of management practices and the effects of diet and water management.

Current and near-market intervention strategies for reducing Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC) shedding in cattle. Agric. Food Anal. Bacteriol. 3:103-120
This review article published in Agriculture, Food and Analytical Bacteriology focuses on recent research into the development of live-animal intervention strategies that can be applied to reduce the burden of STEC entering the food chain. Pre-harvest interventions must be designed and implemented as part of a multiple-hurdle approach to reduce pathogen entry into the food supply.

Beef Quality Assurance
Beef Quality Assurance is a national program that raises consumer confidence through offering proper management techniques and a commitment to quality within every segment of the beef industry.

Salmonella White Paper
Produced by the Beef Industry Food Safety Council, this is the first white paper to include all pre- and post-harvest work to reduce Salmonella, including the current status of control, and provide an update on the research investigating the plausible routes of Salmonella infection in cattle.

Harvest

Best Practices for Beef Harvest
This document discusses food safety best practices for use throughout the slaughter operation. The use of best practices along with current science and technology allows slaughter operators to produce visibly clean carcasses and reduce the incidence level of pathogenic contamination.

Best Practices for Spinal Cord Removal  
This document provides Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) to improve process control for assuring the removal of spinal cord from vertebral bone.

Industry Best Practices for Holding Tested Products
This document describes effective practices to help establishments develop and implement the optimal system for testing and holding products to be used when conducting the testing and when government agencies take a sample.

Best Practices for Using Microbiological Sampling 
This document provides best practices applicable throughout the industry to help establishments develop appropriate procedures for using microbiological testing to verify process control.

Antimicrobial Interventions Reference Document
This document, funded by the beef checkoff, describes the multiple actions taken by the industry to reduce the potential for carcass contamination including scientifically proven antimicrobial interventions that can be applied individually or in combination with other treatment to reduce pathogens on the carcass surfaces.

Guidance for Allergen Control in Meat Establishments
This document, funded by the beef checkoff, provides guidance for processing facilities on the development and maintenance of robust allergen-control programs.

Sampling, Lotting and Sample Analysis Guidance
This document provides best industry practices for components (lotting, sampling and laboratory analysis) of the pathogen-testing program as a part of an overall food safety system. The effectiveness of these practices depends on the proper implementation of the best practices leading to these steps and after these steps.

Salmonella White Paper
Produced by the Beef Industry Food Safety Council, this is the first white paper to include all pre- and post-harvest work to reduce Salmonella, including the current status of control, and provide an update on the research investigating the plausible routes of Salmonella infection in cattle.

Further Processing

Best Practices for Pathogen Control during Tenderizing/Enhancing of Whole Muscle Cuts   
The best practices outlined in this document can be implemented throughout the tenderizing or enhancing operation, as well as during cleaning and sanitizing operations, to reduce the likelihood that contamination with potential pathogens (specifically E. coli O157:H7) will occur. This document does not mandate the use of any specific system or technology, but rather, stresses the importance of validating that the tenderizing or enhancing system used is optimized to reduce the risk of contamination.

Guidance for Purchasers of Raw Beef for Non-Intact Use
This document is designed to assist purchasers of raw beef intended for grinding or other non-intact use in maximizing the food safety of the raw materials and finished products, as well as meeting Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) requirements.

Guidance for Allergen Control in Meat Establishments
This document, funded by the beef checkoff, provides guidance for processing facilities on the development and maintenance of robust allergen-control programs.

Sampling, Lotting and Sample Analysis Guidance
This document provides best industry practices for components (lotting, sampling and laboratory analysis) of the pathogen-testing program as a part of an overall food safety system. The effectiveness of these practices depends on the proper implementation of the best practices leading to these steps and after these steps.

Ground Beef

Best Practices for Processing Raw Ground Beef Products
Due to the lack of a sufficient “kill” step for biological hazards within the grinding process, grinding best practices include increasing total process control throughout the grinding operation and in sourcing raw materials. This document provides a recommended set of practices and procedures that processors may want to adopt in their entirety or in part to ensure optimal quality and food safety.

Guidance for Allergen Control in Meat Establishments
This document, funded by the beef checkoff, provides guidance for processing facilities on the development and maintenance of robust allergen-control programs.

Sampling, Lotting and Sample Analysis Guidance
This document provides best industry practices for components (lotting, sampling and laboratory analysis) of the pathogen-testing program as a part of an overall food safety system. The effectiveness of these practices depends on the proper implementation of the best practices leading to these steps and after these steps.

Retail

Best Practices for Retailer Operations Producing Raw Ground Beef 
Due to the lack of a sufficient “kill” step for biological hazards within the grinding process, grinding best practices include increasing total process control throughout the grinding operation and in sourcing raw materials. This document provides best practices for increasing total process control for retail operations grinding beef in the store

Costco Standard Operating Procedure for Meat Grinder
This document provides a pictorial overview of the Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures for meat grinders at Costco.

Foodservice

Foodservice Best Practices 
These best practices for foodservice operations provide the minimum recommendations as outlined by current regulations needed to maintain and enhance the safety of beef products served to customers of all ages who consume food away from home.

Testing

Sampling, Lotting and Sample Analysis Guidance
This document provides best industry practices for components (lotting, sampling and laboratory analysis) of the pathogen-testing program as a part of an overall food safety system. The effectiveness of these practices depends on the proper implementation of the best practices leading to these steps and after these steps.

N=60 Sampling Video

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Veterinary Feed Directive Producer Requirements
Guidance for Industry 213 - New Animal Drugs and New Animal Drug Combination Products Administered in or on Medicated Feed or Drinking Water of Food-Producing Animals: Recommendations for Drug Sponsors for Voluntarily Aligning Product Use Conditions with GFI#209
Guidance for Industry 209 - The Judicious Use of Medically Important Antimicrobial Drugs in Food-Producing Animals
Guidance for Industry 229 - Evaluating the Effectiveness of New Animal Drugs for the Reduction of Pathogenic Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli in Cattle
FDA "Bad Bug Book"

United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS)

FSIS Compliance Guidelines: Allergens and Ingredients of Public Health Concerns
FSIS Strategic Plan, 2011-2016
Microbiology Laboratory Guidebook
Nationwide Survey on Beef and Veal Carcass Baseline
Recalls and Public Health Alerts
Microbiological Testing Program for Escherichia coli O157:H7 and non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Incidence and Trends of Infection with Pathogens Transmitted Commonly Through Food —   Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network, 10 U.S. Sites, 2006–2013
Estimates of Foodborne Illness in the United States
Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet)
National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System for Enteric Bacteria (NARMS)
PulseNet
E.coli (Escherichia coli)
Salmonella

Other Safety Resources

BeefSafetyResource.com
International HACCP Alliance
Generic HACCP Model for Beef Slaughter
Guidebook for Preparation of HACCP Plans & Generic HACCP Models
Pathogen Reduction and HACCP Guidance documents
Critical Control Point Decision Tree